Europe Recast: 1850-1880

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

In 1850 Europeans found themselves confronting failed revolutionary attempts to create constitutional and/ or democratic governments. But reactionary policies were nevertheless dead, and the period was a time of new ideas, new art, new policies and political change, including the creation of new countries such as Germany and Italy. This course will cover all aspects of the history of the period, from the ideas of Darwin and Marx to industrial expansion and political developments.

  • Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital: 1848–1875
  • Norman Rich, The Age of Nationalism and Reform, 1850-1890
  • Veronique Bouruet Aubortot, Impressionism. The Movement that Transformed Western Art


  • The Old Order remade
  • New life for reformist ideals
  • New political ideas: socialism, unionism, feminism
  • New ideas: science and Darwin/ realism in art and literature
  • Industrial developments and related social developments
  • New Order: Ital, Germany, France
  • 60s and 70s: popular politics
  • Impressionism in art, Romanticism in music
  • Shifting terrain: Power Politics

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the causes of political change – including who was allowed to participate, what was the role of constitutions, the existence of monarchical democracies.
  2. Examine the role of ideas – liberalism, nationalism, socialism, evolution.
  3. Recognise the importance of new artistic trends in literature, the visual arts, and music.
  4. Examine the role of social change – industrialisation, the growing importance of the middle class, the discontent of workers.
  5. Analyse and to draw possible conclusions about the importance of the factors cited above.